Atlantic City casino revenue was predictably higher in August compared to the prior year when COVID-19 restrictions stymied business.
Along with gains from online casino and sports betting, the state’s gambling industry posted a 31% year-over-year increase, according to data from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Total gambling revenue statewide was nearly $427.7 million in August 2021.
Atlantic City casino revenue was $397.7 million last month, a 31.1% increase over August 2020. NJ’s three racetracks with sports betting reported $52 million in revenue, a 31.7% year-over-year jump.
“August’s results provided valuable insight into the trajectory of total gaming revenue following last year’s pandemic-related closures, even though the time periods are not perfectly comparable,” said NJ Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis. “In August 2020, all of Atlantic City’s casino hotels were open, but business was affected by capacity restrictions and other limitations.”
|Casino||Table & Other||Poker||Slot Machines||Total Gaming Win|
|Golden Nugget||$3,470,573||$ -||$12,428,554||$15,899,127|
|Hard Rock||$14,003,528||$ -||$31,724,686||$45,728,214|
|Ocean Casino||$9,059,246||$ -||$24,101,261||$33,160,507|
Atlantic City casino revenue 2021 vs. 2019
Pandemic restrictions in place last August included an indoor dining ban, mask and social distancing mandates, and a 25% casino capacity limit. Additionally, COVID vaccines were not yet available.
A more apt comparison for last month’s revenue numbers is August 2019.
Total gambling revenue in August 2021 was $58.8 million more than two years ago, an increase of 17.4%.
However, the growth is primarily due to online gaming and sports betting because land-based revenue was down for seven of Atlantic City’s nine casinos.
Last month’s $113.2 million from online gaming was $72.1 million (+175.5%) more than 2019. Atlantic City sports betting revenue nearly doubled, going from $11.3 million to $22 million.
Meanwhile, Atlantic City casino table game and slot machine revenue was $262.4 million in August 2021. That represents a decline of more than $24 million, or 8.4%, from 2019.
AC casinos still recovering
Year-to-date, in-person gambling is down $177.56 million, or 9.7%, from 2019. Through August, Atlantic City casino revenue from tables and slots is nearly $1.65 billion.
“Although land-based gaming revenues have neared 2019 performance levels in recent months, the industry is still trying to recover lost ground from the early part of the year when pandemic related circumstances suppressed in-person gaming activity,” said Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator of Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism (LIGHT).
Only Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort are outperforming 2019 in land-based gambling revenue.
Hard Rock’s casino win of $279.8 million through August is 26.8% higher than in 2019. Ocean’s $192.6 million is a 41.4% jump from two years ago.
AP Photo/Wayne Parry